On Wednesday, October 1st, the three branches of the MIT ROTC program met on Briggs Field for the annual Joint-Service Field Meet. The competitions include gorilla ball, ultimate football, and dodgeball with a combat race at the end. Navy has won the MIT Field Meet every year since 2003 and the midshipmen wanted to keep it that way.
In the first game of ultimate football, Navy quickly jumped ahead scoring multiple times before Air Force answered back with a touchdown of their own. Navy would go on to win that game by a significant margin. The gorilla ball game was not going as well. Army took control from the beginning of the game by moving the ball down the field quickly and with precision. Despite their best efforts, Navy could not recover that game.
In the second round of games, Navy faced off against Army in dodgeball and against Air Force in gorilla ball. Learning from their first game, Navy came out strong in gorilla ball, quickly putting pressure on the Air Force defense and scoring early. In dodgeball neither team was willing to go down. Army won the first game so going into the second round, Navy knew they had to win to give themselves a chance. After an intense final minute of play, the game was called a tie. Emotions were high on both sides and the intensity could be seen on every cadet and midshipman’s face. Despite the best efforts of the midshipmen on the court, the third round resulted in a tie and Navy was unable to get the overall win.
The third round of games had Navy facing off against Air Force in dodgeball and against Army in ultimate football. Wins in both of these games would put the Navy one game behind Army going into the combat race.
The Navy/Army football game is always extremely intense and aggressive. With outstanding effort from both sides, Navy found themselves tied with Army with only a few seconds left. Unfortunately for the Navy defense, Army made their way down the field to score. Despite a great play by MIDN 4/c Gray and great leadership from MIDN 1/c Forsey, Army was able to push past Navy and win.
The final part of the Field Meet was the combat race. This race is a total of 200 yards in length. It begins with a low crawl and high crawl to a water jug carry. From there, a team of four had to fireman carry a partner halfway to the 100 yard mark and then switch positions. At the end of 100 yards, the team had to secure a manikin dummy and carry it all the way back to the start. Midshipmen and Army cadets cheered on their teams, but it was Air Force who came in first.
Standing there for the final Award Ceremony, the midshipmen were disappointed that they had not been able to continue their winning streak but had a fun morning of competition and camaraderie with the other ROTC branches. Next year, Navy will come back more motivated than ever to win the trophy back and return it to its proper place in the Navy wardroom.
MIDN 3/c Monica Shifflet